MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The budget passed by state lawmakers at the end of a special session in June cuts out all funding for the West Virginia Film Office and eliminates all three staff positions.
The more than $340,000 a year in funding, as well as the Film Investment Tax Credit and the Reel-Scout database the office oversaw will be shifted to the Division of Tourism. The Film Office is no longer a separate line item.
Mark Jordan, executive Director of the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the film office was a big help in bringing film projects to the area.
“They knew who to contact. It was a well maintained database. They had everything together,” Jordan said on “Panhandle Live” Thursday.
The Eastern Panhandle benefited greatly from filming projects over the last few years, thanks in part to the tax credits.
“It (filming) was a big impact for this area. Huge impact,” Jordan said. “This is a powerhouse as far as filming goes. And it still could be.”
The Reel-Scout database was also a driver according to Jordan.
“It’s a database that film producers use to go on site to look at locations.”
Jordan said it was kept up to date by the Film Office.
“Now that Reel-Scout is being manned by the Division of Tourism, as I understand.”
Jordan said he actually had called last week regarding two potential projects for Berkeley County, a smaller independent project and a feature film
Jordan does not believe the change will put those in jeopardy.